On Feb. 26, the staff at Silver Cross Hospital will celebrate the first anniversary of moving to its new location at I-355 and Route 6. Just one year ago, the hospital opened its doors and successfully transferred 129 patients from Joliet to the new 289-bed, 560,000-square-foot hospital in New Lenox that is equipped with advanced technology and spacious, private rooms. Since move day, the hospital has flourished reporting amazing increases in patient volumes and new health care services for area residents.
“I attribute the majority of Silver Cross’ success in the past year to our employees, physicians and volunteers,” said Paul Pawlak, President and CEO of Silver Cross Hospital. “They continue to deliver award-winning care to our patients and their families all while adjusting to a brand new environment.”
A sponsored article by Silver Cross Hospital.
Since moving to the new campus, Silver Cross Hospital admissions have increased 24 percent, surgeries by 15 percent, and emergency visits by 13 percent. The most dramatic change has been the number of babies born over the past year. While the birth rate has declined throughout the country, Silver Cross delivered over 2,000 babies in the past 12 months—a 37 percent increase since moving to the new hospital.
“Everybody wants to drive a new car and live in a new house,” said Pawlak. “So it is no surprise that patients want to be cared for in a new hospital—and we are ready to welcome them with open arms. Patients are asking their doctors to send them to Silver Cross, which has led to a 39 percent increase in our Medical Staff in the last four years. We now have over 720 physicians on staff.
“Not only have we increased the number of physicians on staff, we also enhanced the expertise within our medical staff,” said Alexander Sosenko, M.D., Chief of Staff, Silver Cross Hospital.
In addition to expanding the medical staff, Silver Cross has also created new health care jobs in Will County. “Since opening, we have hired 400 caregivers and continue to recruit in a variety of areas including nursing and surgery,” said Pawlak. “Our new facility, combined with our unique culture, has made Silver Cross an attractive place to work.”
New Services, Enhanced Partnerships
Not only has Silver Cross built a beautiful, state-of-the-art hospital, but they have kept their promise to the community by offering new services and enhanced expertise through partnerships with academic medical centers including University of Chicago Medical Center, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital.
Just a few weeks after moving, the Silver Cross Sleep Disorders Center opened in Pavilion A offering patients treatment and diagnosis for insomnia, narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea and sleep related breathing and movement disorders all in a beautiful home-like atmosphere. Patients can experience a sleep study online or take a risk assessment at www.silvercross.org/sleepdisorderscenter.
In April, Silver Cross introduced the da Vinci Si™ Robot, which is the most advanced robotic-assisted technology available today. A contest was held last year at the Hospital’s Grand Opening Celebration to name the new robot. Mia, which stands for minimally invasive approach, has been used by specially trained physicians to perform more than 250 robotic surgeries for prostatectomies, gynecological procedures, and several medical oncology surgeries for colorectal, breast, stomach, and esophageal cancers. “In the hands of well trained surgeons, the surgical robot offers our patients better clinical outcomes, including less pain, a shorter hospital stay, and faster return to normal activities,” said Dr. Thai Nguyen, Medical Director, Robotic Surgery Program at Silver Cross.
Offering robotic surgery is one of the factors that led Silver Cross and select physicians on staff to be designated as a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology (COEMIG) by the AAGL, the leading association of minimally invasive gynecologic surgeons worldwide, and Surgical Review Corporation. Achieving COEMIG designation places Silver Cross at the forefront of minimally invasive gynecologic surgical care offering expert care for women who face surgical treatment for hysterectomies, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, prolapse and other gynecologic conditions.
On June 26, the hospital opened the 20,000-square-foot Carolyn J. Czerkies Pavilion which is home to the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital. The Cancer Center is a collaboration between Silver Cross and University of Chicago Medicine. The partnership brings University of Chicago Medicine cancer specialists and their access to advanced and investigational therapies to a community hospital setting. Patients have convenient access to University of Chicago specialists, state-of-the-art chemotherapy and radiation therapy, as well as more clinical trials than any other program in Illinois.
In addition to enhancing oncology services, a need existed to increase outpatient rehabilitation services, so in September Silver Cross opened a fourth location in Homer Glen offering outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapies under their partnership with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC).
Most recently, the hospital formed the Silver Cross Neuroscience Institute, which features a team of some of the most experienced specialists in the Chicago area. The Neuroscience Institute offers a full continuum of care that includes preventing strokes, halting them in their path, and providing the necessary rehabilitation to get stroke victims back on their feet. Silver Cross’ Neuroscience Institute includes an Endovascular Lab, which features a state-of-the-art bi-plane angiography system used by neuro interventional radiologists to diagnose and treat strokes and other neurological diseases. By using this new technology, endovascular and surgical procedures can be performed more quickly and with an even greater level of safety for patients. Take a virtual tour of the Endovascular Lab, request a stroke awareness kit or complete a stroke risk assessment at www.silvercross.org.
Moving forward, Silver Cross is not resting on its success from the past year. The hospital is currently developing a new core computer system for electronic medical records. This innovative structure will allow the hospital to have an integrated Information Technology system that connects patients through the continuum of care while improving patient care and outcomes.
Former Hospital Campus Redevelopment Taking Shape
Redevelopment of the Joliet campus is well underway. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is in the midst of renovating the former Silver Cross Hospital Emergency Department to open a new 60,000 square foot Veterans Outpatient Clinic in Spring 2013. Area Veterans will have convenient access to new and enhanced outpatient services including women’s health, home based primary care, laboratory, mental health and social work, pharmacy, physical therapy and rehabilitation, retinal imaging, nutrition, geriatrics, and telehealth.
Just east of the Veteran’s Outpatient Clinic, Aunt Martha’s Youth Services is building a 20,000 square foot Federally Qualified Healthcare Center (FQHC). The Joliet Community Health Center will also open in 2013 offering primary care, dental services and behavioral health services to the residents on the eastside of Joliet.
“We are delighted that the former Silver Cross Hospital campus is being put to good use to provide much needed services to area residents including our country’s veterans,” says Margie Woods, Chair of the Silver Cross Healthy Community Commission—a not-for-profit organization committed to improving the eastside of Joliet with increased access to health care services and workforce development.
“We made a commitment that when we relocated the hospital that we would make sure that we would leave the property in good hands—and we are doing just that, adds Pawlak.”
For more information about Silver Cross Hospital, visit www.silvercross.org. For a free referral to a physician on staff, call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).